Dangers of Waxing
Previously, we wrote about alternative methods of removing unwanted body or facial hair. Before laser hair removal, waxing and threading were the primary alternatives to stubble-free hair removal. Today, we discuss some of the disadvantages to choosing waxing as a primary method of hair removal.
Most people wax to yank out, by the roots, unwanted facial and body hair. Its faster than tweezing. And, many find it to be a preferable alternative to shaving, as the results last longer and do not create rough stubble. Waxing, however, remains imperfect method of removing hair. Any hair removed by waxing will grow again within several weeks. Further, in between waxing sessions, it is necessary to wait until the hairs to be removed to grow out and become quite visible prior to having the waxing session.
There are also health dangers: First, hot wax burns can be severe and are more common than one might think. Second, waxing leaves one’s body vulnerable to infection because the pores from which the hairs were yanked take several days to fully heal.
The waxing process often pulls off tiny pieces of the skin’s outermost layer, creating a portal through which bacteria can enter the body. What’s more, the process creates inflammation, which can trap bacteria beneath the skin. All of this sets the stage for skin infections (including staph), folliculitis (infection of the hair follicles), and ingrown hairs. In fact, the FDA advises that people with weakened immune systems avoid waxing entirely.
Anyone using wrinkle creams or acne treatments that contain retinol should also avoid waxing. Retinol can make skin so sensitive that there’s a risk of sking peeling off along with the hair.
As Ben Franklin once remarked, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Should you decide to choose waxing as your method of hair removal, here are a few tips. Be sure to choose your facility carefully. Before you make an appointment, stop by to see how clean and professional the facility is. You should also keep an eye on hygiene.
Before beginning the process, the practitioner should wash their hands, and apply hand sanitizer. Further, after your waxing session, take special precaution to prevent irritation. This can be done by applying an anti-inflamatory hydrocortisone cream to the area. This will ease irritation and help ward off potential infection.
Your Guide to Hair Grooming, Lasers and Beautiful Skin: See Chapter 3 (Skin Problems from Hair Removal).